ON CAREER: “I was so sure I wanted to be a journalist from very early on at high school. I remember watching big events on the news and wanting a job that let me be a part of those moments in history, to be an insider telling everybody what it felt like, sounded like, smelled like and why it mattered. When I was a cadet journalist at WIN Television in Canberra after university, I would print [journalist] Peter Harvey’s scripts off the system every night and study themtrying to work out what made them magic. Even now, I always bring it back to the lotto question: if you won, would you work? I’d probably have a nicer house, maybe get a chef, but I would still do what I do.”

ON ACTION: “There have been stories over the years that have deeply affected me. I’d go home, bawl my eyes out and fall apart. Then the next day, I’d get up and put my big-girl pants on and say, ‘Okay, what can I do to help?’ rather than just sitting there, feeling useless and sad. Often, telling people’s stories to raise awareness helps most. I wish I could do more, but I have a core group of charities that I’ve been with for a very long time [including Make-A-Wish, Adopt Change, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, plus several more]. I’d do anything for them.”

ON TRUTH: “I get sad that people are so quick to believe fake news from unreliable sources and then take it all as gospel. Media is now [more accessible] than ever. Whether you want to watch the news on television, listen to podcasts or read your newspaper online, there’s still a need for quality storytelling. The difference between good and bad is even more apparent.”

ON FAMILY: “Like every other working parent, the family juggle has been the biggest challenge of my career. That guilt that comes with thinking, ‘Am I a good enough mum? Wife? Friend?’ I wanted to be the mum who cooked dinner every night and made the birthday cakesno matter how dodgy they looked. Sometimes I felt guilty for working full-time, but it was my choice to do those hours. I couldn’t have done it without my husband John [Dunlop]’s support. In the thick of it, we were like, ‘Alright, let’s just get to Saturday’ and then, ‘Let’s just get to the following Saturday.’ I probably still work like that.”

ON EQUALITY: “Things are changing [for women in media], but it has taken some amazing women who have gone before me and fought really hard. Being pregnant on air didn’t affect my brain, and coming back after maternity leave was great, but I was absolutely worn out. I’d get up and feed Talia [her daughter, now 15] at two in the morning, have a shower, then go do live breakfast television. I hope that by doing some hard yards, I was able to help forge a path for other women.”

ON CRITICISM: “Television is aesthetic. I can’t appear on camera looking crap and nor would I want to. There’s been commentary over the years that has hurt me, but the biggest pressure has always come from myself. I once pulled up at a petrol station and saw [a woman’s magazine cover story about my weight]. I burst into tears and just cried and cried. It really hurt. I was getting up at 3am and had two babies. Losing my pregnancy weight was the last thing I cared about. I would hope to God I was in the job because I did it well, not because of how I looked. The secret is to find that balance between not being hurt by [the criticism] and listening to your own voice, [but] it does sting.”

ON FASHION: “I’ve always tried to wear and champion Australian designers. Years ago, one actress made a big deal about people not asking what she was wearing on the red carpet. I felt really insulted on behalf of all the designers at her stance, because those dresses are their art. That is why I care what someone’s wearing and why I care about the work put into that gown. That’s somebody’s blood, sweat and tears. What makes the designer’s work any less [important] than the actor’s?”

ON GIVING BACK: “My first trip with World Vision back in 2006 totally changed me. I’d been in Los Angeles to interview Tom Cruise [while] staying at the Four Seasons, then I came home to the Beaconsfield Mine disaster, one of the most emotional stories I’ve ever covered, and then I went to Mongolia with World Vision. I remember getting to the end of those three things together and then falling apart about the disparity, the inequity in it all.”

ON TRUST: “When I left Sunrise back in 2013, it was because I needed a change. I was like, ‘What do I do next?’ I remember saying to myself, ‘I’m just going to throw my arms open to the universe and say yes to everything that comes my way.’ Then all of these opportunities came up that I never expected, from Smoothfm [radio station] to being on the board of the GWS Giants [AFL team]. If you’re so focused on getting to one spot, sometimes you don’t notice other things around you that could be even more extraordinary.”